LOTT, Harry Baines (1781-1833), of Tracey House, Awlescombe, Devon
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Family and Educationbap. 9 Oct. 1781, o.s. of Samuel Lott, banker, of Honiton and w. Elizabeth Baines.1 educ. Blundell’s, Tiverton 1792-7. m. 30 Apr. 1804, Mary Ann Buckland, 8s. (3 d.v.p.) 6da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1819. d. 20 June 1833.
Lott, whose father had originally been a stationer, insurance agent and postmaster in Honiton, succeeded him in 1819 as a partner in the local bank and was the residuary legatee of his estate, which was sworn under £20,000.2 He accepted a requisition to stand for that venal borough at the general election of 1826 and was returned in second place, declaring that his ‘attachment to our glorious constitution is well known’ and that he was ‘unfettered by any pledge’. He was commended to Robert Peel, the home secretary in Lord Liverpool’s ministry, as ‘a thorough Protestant’ who ‘in all public matters seems inclined to put faith in your judgement’.3
He divided against Catholic relief, 6 Mar., and for the duke of Clarence’s annuity bill, 16 Mar., and the spring guns bill, 23 Mar. 1827. He was granted one month’s leave for urgent business, having served on an election committee, 3 May 1827. In presenting a petition from Honiton Baptists for repeal of the Test Acts he declared that ‘their continuance was improper and inexpedient’, 13 Feb.; he voted accordingly, 26 Feb. 1828. He divided against Catholic relief, 12 May. He voted with the duke of Wellington’s ministry against the motion condemning delays in chancery, 24 Apr. He argued that the system of alehouse licensing was ‘productive of great inconvenience and ... ought to be remedied’, 19 June 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the patronage secretary, listed him as being ‘opposed to the principle’ of Catholic emancipation. He presented a hostile petition from East Devon, 23 Feb., and explained that he opposed concession ‘as a friend to civil and religious liberty’, believing that ‘the tenets of the Catholic church were likely to lead to despotism and tyranny’. However, as a ‘supporter of the general measures of the present ministry’ he was prepared to ‘suspend his opinion’ until he had seen the emancipation bill, which had to ‘provide for the safety ... of the established church’. He claimed next day that the signatories to the Protestant petition arising from the Devon county meeting, at which he had been present the previous month, were mainly resident freeholders, unlike the supporters of the pro-Catholic petition. He voted against emancipation, 6, 18, 23, 27, 30 Mar. He favoured the abolition of imprisonment for debt, 19 Feb., but also wished to see a ‘summary mode of proceeding for the recovery of small sums’ in order to protect the ‘poorer class of creditors’. He believed that the poor employment bill would ‘produce an immense benefit to the country’ by reducing the burden of the poor rate on small farmers, 24 Feb. He objected to a provision in the justices of the peace bill that only the magistrates who had issued the summons could hear a case, 25 Mar. He presented an East Devon petition for repeal of the duty on coals and culm, 3 June 1829. He divided for Hume’s amendment to restrict the vote for the volunteers, 9 Mar. 1830. Next day he was granted one month’s leave on urgent private business. He paired against Jewish emancipation, 17 May, and voted to abolish the death penalty for forgery, 7 June 1830.4 At the dissolution that summer he retired, possibly because he feared the expense of a contested election.5
Lott was among the speakers at an anti-slavery meeting in Honiton, 18 Nov. 1830.6 When Parliament was dissolved in April 1831 he accepted an invitation to stand for the borough, free of expense, made by voters who were hostile to the Grey ministry’s reform bil